Amazon, the Seattle, Washington eCommerce giant, is expanding in the U.K., planning to launch pop-up stores to give small businesses the chance to sell on High Street.
In a press release, Amazon said it teamed up with Enterprise Nation, which supports more than 90,000 U.K. small businesses, to launch Clicks and Mortar, a new program that helps small businesses grow in-store and online.
The program will enable more than 100 small online business to sell on High Street in 10 Clicks and Mortar shops across the U.K. Amazon is running a year-long pilot program aimed at helping up-and-coming online brands grow their presence in the physical world. The results of the pilot will be measured by independent researchers and submitted to the government to gauge how successful it is. The program also includes a new fund to train more than 150 full-time apprentices to help small and medium-sized businesses increase productivity and increase online sales. It also provides free digital training at Amazon Academy events to be held in the U.K. The events are aimed at helping small businesses have success online and boost export sales.
“Small businesses are one of our most important customer groups, and we’re thrilled to work with Enterprise Nation to design a comprehensive package to help entrepreneurs across the U.K. grow their businesses, both in-store and online,” said Doug Gurr, U.K. country manager at Amazon, in the press release. “From giving up-and-coming online British brands the chance to experience physical retail, to funding the training of full-time apprenticeships and helping to increase SME exports, Amazon is committed to supporting the growth of small businesses — helping them boost the economy and create jobs across the U.K.”
For the past twenty years, Amazon said it has been a growth engine for small businesses located around the world. In 2000 3 percent of gross merchandise sales on Amazon came from third-party sellers. That has increased to 58 percent by 2018. Amazon said tens of thousands of U.K.-based small businesses sell through Amazon.
“U.K. shoppers like to shop both online and in High Street stores, and our intention is to help small businesses succeed by combining the best elements of online and High Street retail,” said Emma Jones MBE, founder of Enterprise Nation, in the same press release. “This new concept will provide small businesses with the space, technology and support to experience physical retail for the first time, while enabling customers to discover new brands on their local High Streets.”